Presidential search committee announced


Taylor Hudak

Kent State University Board of Trustees Chair Ralph Della Ratta holds the “committee of the whole” meeting on Dec. 5, 2018. At right is President Beverly Warren. The Board named an executive search firm, Russell Reynolds Associates, to find Warren’s replacement when she retires July 1, 2019.

Laina Yost

A 16-member search committee tasked with finding President Beverly Warren’s replacement was announced today. It includes faculty, staff, community members and two students.

“The Presidential Search Committee is advisory to the Board of Trustees and consists of faculty, trustees, students, administration, alumni and community representatives who will conduct the search not on behalf of any single constituency, but rather in the best overall interests of Kent State,” committee chair and Board member Shawn Riley said in a campus-wide email today.

The committee members are:

  • Shawn Riley (committee chair), Board of Trustees member
  • Dr. Ann Abraham, associate professor, chemistry, Ashtabula Campus

  • Virginia C. Addicott, vice chair, Presidential Search Committee; member, Kent State University Board of Trustees; president and CEO, FedEx Custom Critical

  • James Bailey, president, Kent State University National Alumni Board of Directors; senior vice president and managing director, PNC Bank

  • Rev. Dr. Todd C. Davidson, member, Kent State University Board of Trustees; senior pastor, Antioch Baptist Church, Cleveland

  • Dr. Douglas Delahanty, professor, psychological sciences; associate vice president for research, faculty development

  • Dr. Pamela Grimm, chair, Faculty Senate; associate professor, marketing and entrepreneurship

  • Nora C. Jacobs, chair, Kent State University Foundation Board of Directors; senior vice president, Hennes Communications

  • Dr. Mark Kretovics, associate professor, higher education administration and student personnel

  • Dr. Amy Reynolds, dean, College of Communication and Information

  • Mark Rhodes, executive chair, Graduate Student Senate; Ph.D. candidate, geography

  • Dr. Nathan Ritchey, vice president, Kent State system integration

  • David Ruller, city manager, City of Kent

  • Gene Shelton, professor, journalism and mass communication

  • Bernett L. Williams, vice president for external affairs, Akron Children’s Hospital

  • Vala Zeinali, director of business and finance, Undergraduate Student Government; computer science major

Riley said two open forums will be held on Friday, Dec. 14, “for students, faculty, staff and community members to share their thoughts and hopes for the next president.” 

One will be on the Kent campus from noon to 1 p.m. on the Student Center Ballroom Balcony. The other will be from 9-10 a.m. in Main Hall Conference Room 1 on the Stark Campus.

The forums are near the end of the fall semester finals week, when few students will still be on campus.

Riley also said a search-related website at is available for community members to provide feedback or communicate with the committee.

Riley was on campus today and participated in multiple forums, including with Faculty Senate and members of USG. He told Faculty Senate he is beginning to hear some common themes about the presidential search, including the desire for the committee to emphasize “students-first,” diversity and a greater focus on external relations.

Executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates will help the committee find Kent State’s next president.

Riley said the committee will work through the winter break in order to “hit the market” with the presidential job posting by mid-January 2019.

Laina Yost is the enterprise editor. Contact her at [email protected]